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Monongahela council agrees to street sign changes

| Thursday, May 15, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Chris Buckley/The Valley Independent
This 'no turn on red' sign at the corner of Second and West Main streets in Monongahela was to be taken down Thursday.

A “no turn on red” sign at the corner of Second and West Main streets in Monongahela is coming down Thursday.

Others in the city may soon follow.

During its regular monthly meeting Wednesday, city council voted to remove the “no turn on red” sign.

Councilman Alan Veliky said some motorists, in an effort to avoid the wait in traffic, often drive through the parking lot of Dierken's Pharmacy & Giftland.

Veliky said he wants to see the same restriction lifted for the intersections of Fourth and Chess streets and Park Avenue and East Main Street. Council voted to remove the signs, although it may take an ordinance to authorize the traffic change.

“They cause more congestion than if we eliminate them,” Veliky said after the meeting. “In today's economy and the price of gas, when you're sitting in traffic and burning gas, I can't imagine how much that costs drivers.”

At Veliky's request, council authorized its solicitor to send a letter to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation requesting several guide rails at the base of Cemetery Hill, adjacent to Lenzi's Service station, be replaced. Veliky said the road is deteriorating and must be repaired, too.

Sister city events planned

During the first 10 days of the month, several of Connie Russell's relatives came to visit Monongahela.

In August, 57 Italian visitors will come to Monongahela for three days of events celebrating the sister cities of Monongahela and Ono San Pietro, Italy.

Russell, a member of the Monongahela sister city organizing committee, gave council an update on the three-day weekend celebration being planned late this summer.

Last year, Monongahela city council officially approved a proclamation naming Monongahela and Ono San Pietro as sister cities.

Council Wednesday night authorized $3,000 to help defray the costs of the events.

“This is a one-time event,” Russell said. “I'm so proud of our city for adopting this town of Ono San Pietro.”

Russell said buses provided by the Mid Mon Valley Transit Authority and Nelson Bus Lines will transport visitors between Monongahela and their hotel accommodations at the Hampton Inn in Rostraver Township.

On Aug. 22, Monongahela Mayor Bob Kepics will present a key to the city to the mayor of Ono San Pietro and a Sister City sign will be dedicated. A social will follow at Ripepi Winery.

On Aug. 23, the visitors will tour the River Museum at 1 p.m., followed by a tour of the Historical Society museum at 2 p.m. They will also be given a tour of the city's Main Street. Music will be provided by Rockin' Randy.

On Aug. 24, The visitors will tour St. Mary's, the Italian section of Monongahela Cemetery, followed by an Italian Mass to be held at St. Damien's Park.

Police and streets addressed

Kepics commended the police department for its recent work involving several significant drug arrests. “We've got hundreds of bags of heroin off the streets,” Kepics said.

Police chief Brian Tempest said the credit must go to his officers on the streets.

Kepics also said the Washington County District Attorney's Drug Task Force has worked with city police to make the arrests.

Councilman Bill Hess said he and Code enforcement Officer Les Pemberton are working on a property demolition list.

Councilman Ken Kulak said he is working with the street department to compile a list of streets to be paved this year.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or